Rattling the Sabers

I started trading options as a floor trader in 1991 right about the same time as Gulf War 1.  The runup to the war was characterized by gloom, volatility and really weak stock prices.  I think the Dow was 2300 or so.  Not much has changed in the 24 years since then through several other political crises and GW2.  The one constant has been after the USA goes in and starts shooting, stocks rally and the VIX cracks.  Until today that is, or maybe.

We are getting a 1% rally but only a small sell off in the VIX.  This time there are a few more bad apples with both ISIS and Russia so the USAF lighting them up is just the start.  I think this skirmish will more protracted but I am confident we will prevail.  Stocks were a little hesitant this morning after the big overnight moves in VIX futures.


3D charts from OptionVision  The vol. drop is on an inverse scale.

As you can see from the 3D vol chart most of the vol. crush has been to the upside.  We might rally but it won’t be fast and I agree with that.  We also have a ways to go for the volatility to come in so operating OTM might work best.  It is good that we went in to kick some ISIS fanny but the game is not over yet.  The Russian’s ending their “exercises” on the border has to be helping the rally too.  Let’s see how that plays out by Monday.

The Trade

The simple trade is an unbalanced Iron Condor in the SPY.  Sell more put spreads than call spreads so the trade is not short delta.

Disclosure: Index positions

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